The Yomiuri Shimbun
Differentiate Japan’s aid to Africa from China’s in terms of quality
アフリカ会議 良質な支援で中国と差別化を

Africa’s healthy development is indispensable to world stability. It is necessary to provide support through the joint efforts of the public and private sectors and establish a relationship of reciprocity embracing the potential for growth as the continent develops.
アフリカの健全な発展は、世界の安定に欠かせない。官民を挙げて支援し、成長力を取り込む互恵関係を築きたい。

The Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) was held in Nairobi, with the leaders of Japan and about 50 African nations attending, among others. They adopted the Nairobi Declaration, calling for economic structural reforms and reinforcing measures against communicable diseases as its main pillars.
日本とアフリカの約50か国の首脳らによる第6回アフリカ開発会議(TICAD)がケニアで開かれた。経済構造改革や感染症対策の強化を柱とするナイロビ宣言を採択した。

In a keynote speech, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged a total of $30 billion (about ¥3 trillion) in investments from the public and private sectors over a period of three years through 2018, and to develop human resources, including about 10 million engineers. “The time has come to make the best of Japan’s capabilities, Japanese companies’ capabilities,” Abe emphasized.
安倍首相は基調講演で、3年間で官民総額300億ドル(約3兆円)規模を投資し、約1000万人の技術者らを育成する考えを表明した。「日本と日本企業の力を生かす時が来た」とも訴えた。

Blessed with rich natural resources and given its rapid increase in population, Africa is referred to as “the final frontier” of the world economy, leading many countries to compete to make investments in the continent.
豊富な天然資源を有し、人口も急増するアフリカは、世界経済の「最後のフロンティア」と称され、各国が競って投資してきた。

But, in recent years, Africa has faced such challenges as declining prices for natural resources, the spread of Ebola and other infectious diseases, frequent civil wars and terrorism. The continent is far from being in a situation under which it can eradicate poverty and achieve social stability.
しかし、近年は、資源価格の下落、エボラ出血熱など感染症の拡大、内戦やテロの多発といった課題に直面している。貧困の根絶や社会の安定にはほど遠い。

It is reasonable that the Nairobi Declaration refers to “economic diversification” without relying merely on exports of resources. It is essential to promote investment in high-quality infrastructure and foster human resources through the prudent use of Japanese expertise, thereby encouraging self-sustained development.
ナイロビ宣言が、資源輸出だけに頼らない「経済の多角化」を掲げたのは妥当だ。日本の技術力を生かした、質の高いインフラ投資や人材育成を進め、アフリカの自立を促すことが肝要である。

Diverse cooperation

Many Japanese business corporations and associations took part in the TICAD conference, which was held for the first time in Africa, and discussed concrete investment projects. The Japanese business community has high expectations for Africa as a potentially huge market.
初めてアフリカで開かれたTICADには、多くの日本企業や団体が参加し、具体的な投資案件などを協議した。潜在的な巨大市場への経済界の期待は強い。

Twenty-two Japanese firms and business associations signed memorandums on a total of 73 projects. It is highly significant that the range of cooperation is diverse, covering geothermal power generation, agricultural development, hospital construction and malaria control measures.
22企業・団体が計73事業の覚書に署名した。地熱発電や農業の開発、病院整備、マラリア対策など広範な協力の意義は大きい。

Abe announced a plan to launch the “Japan-Africa Public and Private Economic Forum” as a permanent forum for which members of the Japanese Cabinet, together with top executives from Japan’s major business associations and corporations, will visit Africa once every three years. It is imperative for Japan and Africa to maintain close cooperation and pursue mutual benefits.
首相は、「日アフリカ官民経済フォーラム」の設立を発表した。日本の閣僚や企業関係者らが3年に1回、アフリカを訪問する枠組みだ。密接に連携し、双方の利益を追求することが重要だ。

In December, China announced a plan to offer $60 billion in aid to Africa over a period of three years. This figure is double Japan’s. But there is strong criticism that China’s assistance will not lead to fostering personnel and technical transfers because China places priority on profits for its firms and procurement of resources.
中国は昨年12月、3年間で600億ドルを支援すると公表した。金額では日本の2倍だが、中国企業の儲もうけや資源確保などを優先するため、人材育成や技術移転につながらないとの批判が根強い。

In addition to construction of infrastructure with an emphasis on quality, it is essential for Japan to provide know-how on the maintenance and operation of infrastructure and offer elaborate programs to foster local experts, thereby differentiating its assistance from China’s.
日本は、質を重視したインフラ整備に加え、維持や運用のノウハウを提供し、現地の専門家を育てるきめ細かな支援で、中国との差別化を図ることが大切である。

Abe has come out with an India-Pacific initiative of making the Pacific and Indian oceans “peaceful seas governed by the rule of law.” Maintaining a rules-based maritime order and the necessity of reforming the U.N. Security Council were also incorporated in the Nairobi Declaration.
首相は、太平洋とインド洋を「平和な、ルールの支配する海」とするインド太平洋戦略を打ち出した。ナイロビ宣言にも、海洋秩序の維持、国連安全保障理事会の改革の必要性が盛り込まれた。

Both of these points were made with China in mind. From the viewpoint of encouraging China to exercise restraint and avoid self-centered behavior, Japan must build a strategic relationship with African countries.
いずれも中国を念頭に置いたものだ。中国に独善的な行動の自制を促すためにも、アフリカ諸国と戦略的な関係を構築したい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 30, 2016)

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